Cancer 3: third decan of Cancer, Four of Cups

Per 777, the decan for the Four of Cups (Luxury, or Blended Pleasure): A swift-footed person, with a viper in his hand, leading dogs. Except for the male pronoun, it sounds a lot like the huntress lunar goddess Artemis, who was swift and often accompanied by dogs. Her lunar connotations make a lot of sense for Cancer, ruled by the Moon, and the decan itself ruled by the Moon. So this figure had an Artemis inspiration, and is shown running along the seashore with two dogs that will probably be colored black as a nod to Hecate and Anubis, also associated with the decan.

Some of the other decan source image descriptions also mention hunting, dogs, and running. The 36 Airs fragmentary text gives the decan to Hecate, triple faced lunar goddess who also is associated with dogs, Ibn Ezra mentions Anubis, and the Egyptian god of the decan is serpentine Typhon or the somewhat canine Set. In this image the faces in the Moon represent Hecate.

The figure carries a lunar horn-shaped drinking cup, while the dogs each bear a cup as well however precariously. The fourth cup is spilling out – no one has the need for it or an additional hand to carry it! After all, a fourth cup would be both a luxury and a restrictive burden. Two figures look behind, one ahead. The pleasure is blended with the knowledge that stasis is impossible!

Four of Cups, ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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